I’ll let you in on a little secret – librarians love a good pun. Which is why often you’ll see displays in library branches (and posts on library blogs) with pun-y titles. And which is why it seems that “Shorts for Summer” has been a long favourite gimmick for librarians during July and August. You wear shorts in summer, so why not read shorts in summer? Hilarious isn’t it?
Okay, so maybe our sense of humour isn’t the best – but reading short stories in the summer really is a good idea, I think. Easy to dip in and out of, take them to the beach, read them in the park on your lunch break. But even people who read a lot often don’t know where to start with short stories. We often get reading ideas from bestseller lists, from press reviews – but for whatever reason, short stories don’t seem to catch the same kind of attention. Looking for a quick fix this August? Here’s a few ideas:
The Best American Short Stories and The Best Canadian Stories are just what they sound like: books that feature a selection of great short stories from American and Canadian authors. They are produced annually and a great source readers looking for a selection of writings from a variety of authors. The publishers of the American “Best” series of books have become a bit of an institution really and the series has expanded well beyond short stories to include short writings of other types: my favourites are The Best American Essay series and the Best American Nonrequired Reading series – both feature essays, most of which are collected from major American news sources.
Quantum of Solace: the complete James Bond short stories (also available in audio: CD mp3)